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Everything posted by James

  1. Both are lovely Mike - I spend a week in April down in the Lizard and often get clear dark skies but have always been too lazy to drive over to Kynance and walk to a good spot carrying equipment
  2. I've never managed to stay standing still that long Which is why my astro selfies are invariably me sitting down (usually with a pot noodle off to one side ) So 20 seconds is an achievement!! James
  3. I’ve been unable to use binoculars for many years now for that very reason Stu which is a shame in many ways but I’ve switched to using a monocular instead. Not quite the same immersive visual effect but at least I still get some nice wide field views. Naturally I’ve no problem using a scope In my case I’m locked in increasingly fraught discussions with opticians about whether to get prism lenses on my glasses prescription but that probably won’t help with binos… James
  4. ... a new section on chocolate snacks would just get spammed with images of Mars Bars and Milky Way bars.. @clarkpm4242 - I see the snow on the hills on the March image. If your May has been anything like mine I'm guessing your May image was taken on a colder night ?
  5. Wasn't that the previous time? Or the time before that? I'm looking forward to you going back and getting the day to night timelapse you wanted. The only advice I feel that I'm qualified to give is to take a lot more food - I'll leave the choice of chocolate to you obviously but I'm not a Bounty man ... but a bounty and a couple of eccles cakes - no way is that enough James
  6. Best I don't comment on the merits of chocolate snacks as I struggle to get past the idea that sheer quantity isn't all Or rather I fail completely... The lighthouse worked in my favour I think. It was odd - it wasn't a full on coastal lighthouse but taking a timelapse sitting 40ft from a gert big light, not to mention a row of LEDS along the pier was somewhat unusual... however, it illuminated the water nearly that was otherwise dark as pitch (the pier blocked off all the town lights) and the houses/buildings in the distance. There were no lights around those buildings at all at night but the lighthouse light nicely reflected from them In fact I had far more illumination 'issues' at Budleigh when I failed to allow for my shadow appearing on the far riverbank as I was standing 200 metres away with another camera. Although I wouldn't call it an issue really. I like your images and the idea Also the differing backgrounds - I could be cheeky and take my time-lapse pictures and just use the ones four minutes apart, about every 8th image and just say, aye, here's tonights, here's last nights, here's the night before that etc. Wouldn't look suss at all... James
  7. Here's a short timelapse, or rather collection of three timelapses taken this April. It's been hard to get out the last few months for obvious reasons but the mid-April partial 'reopening' had me heading out to my favourite haunt of Budleigh Salterton for a timelapse or two. I got another from Mevagissey in Cornwall when the family had a short break there. April is a great time of year for the rising Milky Way and the coast down here tends eastwards so the skies are dark....if you can stay up late/get up early. The core of the Milky Way isn't at it's highest until about 4am in April. It takes a shocking amount of food and drink to keep me awake at that time of night but I managed.. The eagle-eyed amongst you may spot the dropped frame on two of the timelapses, not sure what happened there! It crosses my mind that all the motion visible in the timelapses is actually a result of the Earths rotation rather than anything celestial but there are a couple of satellites visible in the timelapses, I'll have to hope that counts The timelapses were taken with a Canon 6D and an R6 using two lenses, a 14mm Sigma (25 sec exposures) and a 28mm Sigma lens (15 sec exposures). In hindsight 15 seconds is slightly too long for the 28mm lens, it opens to f/1.4 so I suspect 12-13 seconds would have been better, and still enough to get that light in.
  8. I still use their version 3 software and I’ve found it pretty reliable and comprehensive in terms of kit that’s compatible. I use it in conjunction with their AstroGuider and AstroTelescope apps. Haven’t gone for version 4 yet but that’s solely because what I have is working
  9. Nice images Icesheet - from Bergen I'm guessing it's hard to get the brighter bits of the milky way (I'm spoiled on the south coast of England). Others have made more useful comments than I can, but I like the fact you've gone all-in to try and get as much out of the Milky Way as you can - I must admit, I hadn't thought of trying PixInsight to process my images, I've just stuck with Lightroom.. I'm no expert on composition but if you want to crop the right you'll lose the snow on the hills which I quite like But, of course, from bergen you get more aurora than we do... James
  10. What davew says The levels!! Can't believe I haven't thought of going to the levels; it's only an hour away up the M5! Now that lockdown is gradually easing I feel a need to go visit my sister in law who lives in the vicinity.. Actually - given how dry it's been I'm guessing the water levels have dropped a bit? James
  11. Got a few days away from home for the first time in a long time and naturally took a camera and tripod... attached is a single 30 second shot from a time-lapse taken from Mevagissey in Cornwall, looking to the south east over Chapel Point. This is the first time I've ever done a time-lapse sitting directly underneath an operating (albeit small) lighthouse and LED lights. There wasn't anywhere I could go that avoided the light but on the plus side it's illuminated the houses a mile or so away on Chapel Point. Hopefully, one day I'll get the time-lapse put together but I take, on average, about 22 months to do one and staying up till 4am to get the Milky Way core will leave me tired for days.. 30 second shot, taken with a Canon R6, 28mm Sigma @ f1.4 ISO3200 James (Note, clicking on the image will allow a slightly sharper version to load)
  12. CloudMakers ( https://www.cloudmakers.eu ) do a nice set of apps for Mac control of mounts and other kit Slightly more straightforward than the very comprehensive Ekos..
  13. It's been a while since I've been out in real cold (Devon's quite temperate) but when I have been out (and have access to AC power) I've used a pet heating pad in a box with the laptop on top. Has worked well at around the -8c to -10c mark. I tend to stay out with my kit so have also on occasion loaded an app or two that I know draw a lot of power and set the fans going which also nicely warms the laptop. Of course, without unlimited power both of those are quite draining of any batteries I have James
  14. Lovely images as usual Dave The sky down here has been an impenetrable murk too, even seeing the Milky Way has been an achievement let alone imaging it ..
  15. Managed to get a quick shot of Comet NEOWISE as it bumped along the northern horizon here. At least it's visible all night now in Devon - I wasn't really up to staying up till 3am and fighting the advancing daylight. Here's a quick 10 second shot, f/4, ISO3200 through a Canon 6D at 105mm
  16. What he says We included alternative sources of data on Clear Outside so that people could easily check alternative forecasts ..
  17. I've just put one onto a 104mm StellaMira and it fits fine with no extra adaptors needed. Having taken it all apart again I am regretting not taking a picture! James
  18. I am a fan of PixInsight but my problem is that I so rarely get round to processing I've forgotten everything I learned the last time round so I do find the learning (or re-learning) curve a tough one. I've relied very heavily on tutorails from Harry Page here http://harrysastroshed.com/pixinsight/pixinsight video html/Pixinsighthome.html and Kayron Mercia here: https://www.lightvortexastronomy.com/tutorials.html The developers strike me as real hardcore maths/stats types - as processing is maths/stats that's got to be a good thing... James
  19. Thank you David - I’ll try anything that hides my processing failures James
  20. It's been a bit of a drought for me for imaging (and most others in the south-west UK) so I've scraped together some data taken using a scope that's fallen off a mount (!) and needs a little tweak to the optics, two mounts (one that's proven somewhat recalcitrant), all over about three years with mixed weather conditions. The changing scopes/mounts etc is an occupational hazard I'm afraid but, whilst hard on imaging, it does allow for variety . The Leo Triplet is an old favourite from my visual-only days - I like the '3 for the price of one' object thing (yep, M81/M82/NGC3077 is another favourite). A group of three galaxies about 35 million light years away they make a good set of objects to observe and image. The image below shows the faintest of trails off the bottom of the galaxy on the left, NGC 3628, (aka the 'Hamburger' Galaxy - really!?). This is part of a 300,000 light year long tidal train of stars from the galaxy and this part is probably why I'm going to redo this image properly some time - I'd love to do an image properly showing this... Due to the data being captured at different times and different circumstances I've had to crop a fair part of the image - I aligned to the little star in the middle every time but forgot to check the rotation of the camera.. every session was at a slightly different angle! Equipment: Mostly (!) Esprit 120, iOptron CEM60-EC, ZWO ASI1600MM-Pro through Astronomik DS RGB filters. Scope control, capture and guiding by CloudMaker's apps - AstroTelescope, AstroImager, AstroGuider and processed in PixInsight, all on a Mac. Lots of Pot Noodles, chocolate biscuits and tea. All subs 120 seconds, mostly at Gain 75, Offset 30, -25c. 38x Luminance, 15x Red, 15x Green, 21x Blue (click on the image for a better quality version). Annotated for reference, North is to the left..
  21. Slippery slope Martin Wow, though. Lovely image. 11 hours to get the OIII!!! James
  22. I’ve never looked back after getting a pair of these: https://www.baffin.com/products/85920000 I can’t for the life of me remember where I got them, a fisherman’s shop up in Lancashire I think but they’ve kept my feet comfortable in the cold (-15c coldest use) and haven’t been too hot either when the temperature has been higher. I went a size higher than my feet are which allows for thick socks but makes walking awkward if I’m not wearing thick socks
  23. Hope your recovery is quick Stu.. Cloudy here in East Devon - clear night predicted tonight for several days but it’s turned out cloudy Maybe for the better as tonight’s a school night so to speak. James
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